Prov­ince set­ting up Labrador re­gional ap­peal board

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - Saltwire Homes - BY EVAN CAREEN

If one were to look on the web­site for the pro­vin­cial depart­ment of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs there are four re­gional ap­peal boards listed for the prov­ince. One for cen­tral, one for the east, one for the west and one for Labrador. How­ever, there has never ac­tu­ally been an ap­peal board set up for Labrador un­til now.

The prov­ince is in the process of set­ting up a Labrador Re­gional Ap­peal board for the first time and have been look­ing for mem­bers since at least July of this year.

Tra­di­tion­ally, ap­peals aris­ing from Labrador have been heard by the western board, which meets in Deer Lake a few times a year.

Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs Min­is­ter An­drew Par­sons told The Labradorian he doesn’t know why there wasn’t al­ways a Labrador board.

“We have four dis­tinct re­gions, we have east­ern, western, cen­tral and Labrador,” he said. “Where my head has been is that there are a lot of qual­i­fied, in­ter­ested peo­ple in Labrador who would like to be a part of an en­tity like this.

“We’re not talk­ing about a huge cost ex­pen­di­ture by any means and to me Labrador ap­peals should be heard by in­di­vid­u­als in Labrador.”

Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay Deputy Mayor Bert Pomeroy is happy an ap­peal board is be­ing set up in Labrador and that it would make the process ac­ces­si­ble by al­low­ing peo­ple to eas­ily be there in per­son in­stead of via a tele­con­fer­ence or the cost of travel.

“It will be ben­e­fi­cial to communities in Labrador,” he said. “There aren’t a lot (of ap­peals) filed, but hope­fully they’ll be heard quicker. For us to ap­pear at those ap­peals in Deer Lake would be costly, so now hope­fully we can ap­pear in per­son reg­u­larly.”

There are cur­rently two ap­peals be­fore the re­gional ap­peal board from Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay and one from Labrador City. Pomeroy said in both ap­peals re­gard­ing the lo­cal coun­cil they would like to get them heard sooner rather than later but aren’t sure when the ap­peals will be heard or by which board.

“I got the im­pres­sion they wanted to leave them for the Labrador board, but in both those ap­peals we want those heard as soon as pos­si­ble so we can move on with those par­tic­u­lar is­sues,” Pomeroy said.

One of the ap­peals from Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay is a demolition or­der for a prop­erty on Hamil­ton River Road and the other is a data cen­tre that was is­sued a stop work or­der in Au­gust and was or­dered to re­main shut down pend­ing the out­come of the ap­peal.

“I em­pathize with busi­nesses like that,” Par­sons said. “If you make an ap­peal you want it heard as soon as pos­si­ble. That’s in­her­ently frus­trat­ing and I un­der­stand that.”

He said he would think that which board hears the ap­peal would de­pend on how quickly they would want it dealt with, but wasn’t sure which board would hear them.

He said find­ing peo­ple as been a bit of a chal­lenge but they are close to set­ting the board up.

Ac­cord­ing to an Access to In­for­ma­tion re­quest made by The Labradorian, there are at least three in­di­vid­u­als that have had their names for­warded to the In­de­pen­dent Ap­point­ments Com­mis­sion, which would make quo­rum.

Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs put out sev­eral calls to in­di­vid­u­als and elected of­fi­cials to for­ward names of peo­ple to con­sider for the board. Once those peo­ple go through the ap­pli­ca­tion process the names are for­warded to the In­de­pen­dent Ap­point­ments Com­mis­sion to se­lect the board mem­bers.

FILE PHOTO

Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs Min­is­ter An­drew Par­sons

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